Help interpreting service RE records please

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by johnsillitto, Jul 2, 2013.

  1. johnsillitto

    johnsillitto Member

    I have just received my father-in-law's army service record and I am having trouble translating some of the abbreviations etc.

    I wondered if there were some knowledgeable people on here who would know about the workings of the Royal Engineers during the Second World War and who could answer a few questions?

    He was George Henry Moul, enlisted into 'C' Company 4th Training Battalion Royal Engineers on 14th November 1940. His trade was carpentry and joinery before he joined up.

    I have attached three relevant pages of the service record, one page from his B200d Service Record and the B103 Service and Casualty forms.

    First of all, what does 'Casualty' mean in this context - I presume it does not mean casualty as in injured?

    Record of Service B200d.P3_resize.jpg
    B103 Service & Casualty Form.p2_resize.jpg
    B103 Service & Casualty Form p3_resize.jpg

    I have added coloured boxes to highlight problematic areas.

    1). On the B200d form and page 2 of the B103, boxed in pink, there are words I can't quite read. It says, "Musti*** under ? of L Trades as Carp(enter) & Joiner B111 ? ? 14/11/40". Can anybody fill in the missing bits?

    2). On Page 2 of the B103, boxed in blue, the place name looks like Haithwaite. Does anybody know where this is/was? His family seemed to think he did his initial 'commando' type training somewhere in Scotland. The only reference I can find is a Haithwaite Farm near Calisle.

    3). In the yellow box, the 281 Field Company has been changed to Field Park Company. What's the difference between a Field Company and a Field Park Company?

    4). Order no. 13/42 gives his posting from 281 Corps Fd Pk Coy to 226 Field Coy, High Wycombe (no date given) but the next order (7/42) gives his unit (in green box) as 266. Is this a mistake and should it be 226?

    5). Has anybody any idea what 'L.E.Less' in Skegness in the puple box means?

    6). Order 21/42 has him rejoining 226 Coy in Halton. Would this be Halton near Widnes in Cheshire?

    7). At the bottom of page 2 and also near the top of page three of the B103, in a brown box, he is granted two periods of 9 days 'priv' leave, first to Skegness and then to Holme. Any guesses what 'priv' leave is, and where is Holme?

    8). Top of B103 page 3 in a purple box he is attached to '43 RTC Welbeck Abbey, Workshop'. I think that should be 'Worksop' since Welbeck Abbey is near there, but what is 43 RTC? Could it be some Training Coy?

    9). In the cyan box he is attached to 143 Infantry Brigade in Skegness for 11 days. Any ideas what that could have been for?

    George's wife seems to remember him being involved in laying mines along the East Coast in preparation for an expected invasion from Germans based in Scandanavia, and then later having to remove all the mines when the invasion did not happen. He would never take his family on holiday to the East Coast after that knowing that probably all the mines had never been cleared.

    His wife tells a horrific story of when he was clearing the mines and his sergeant in front of him accidentally detonated one. George apparently caught his head or what was left of it!!!!

    George was transferred to the Royal Navy early in 1944 and saw service in Ceylon.

    A lot of questionas there I know but I would be grateful for any help at all with them.
  2. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    I'll try to help :)

    4 Training Battalion Royal Engineers
    Mustered under M?(master?) of L Trades as Carpenter and Joiner (wef) with effect from 14/11/40 SLAITHWAITE (Nr Huddersfield). It seems a lot of units did their training around there.

    Granted 9 days privilege leave 6-14 May 1942

    Think the 266 should be posted to 226 Field Park Company, Royal Engineers to W.E. (not L.E.) Less Att of this unit -don't know what this means

  3. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    3 The stamp is generic and is inked, the word Park has been added in pen , A Field Company is combatant, Field Park Company is Engineer stores/supplies.

    5 W.E. is probable Week Ending

    6 With the course being based in the London area it could be Halton Bucks

    7 Holme was probably his units base

    8 You sumizw right it will be a training centre

    9 Probably for Engineer duties as assigned by the 143 Inf Bde

    Hope this helps

    Ps Look in the Trux file area and it will detail the set up of both Field Coy & Field Park Coy
  4. borneo72

    borneo72 Junior Member

    Halton is a bridging camp on the River Lune at Lancaster. Used by the Royal Engineers for various water crossing training.
  5. johnsillitto

    johnsillitto Member

    Thanks to everyone who has replied so far - it is all very helpful.

    Lesley (4jonboy) yes it is W.E.Less - I must have mistyped it in the original posting - sorry. Do you happen to know what 'privilege leave' was? I mean, what sort of thing would it be granted for? If he had a bereavement I assume that would have been recorded as compassionate leave or something similar. 'Privilege' leave seems a bit odd. It is also strange that, according to the records, the first lot of leave was in Skegness and the second in Holme (unless I am interpreting the records wrongly). He was engaged to his future wife at the time who was living in Birmingham so you would have thought any leave he had he would have gone there.
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran


    no real mystery over the " Privilege " leave as opposed to "Compassionate " leave it was merely the Army's way of telling you that you had NO rights to anything and the Officer Commanding gave you the privilege of going on leave - and as

    a privilege - it could be taken away if he so desired - which it was now and I recall in Italy......we had two days of privilege leave in the midst of the Gothic Line battles.....AND the spare crews and non combatants did all the work of

    re stocking -with ammo and petrol etc - and cleaning and maintaining our Tanks while we caught up with some swimming in the Adriatic - then it was back to the Brigadier insisted.....

  7. johneowens

    johneowens Active Member

    The 509th, 510th and 511th Field Park Companies, based in Aigburth Liverpool 19 were sent there for 10 days in September 1939.
  8. johhsillitto

    johhsillitto Member

    Yes lohneowens it seems my George was sent there for 10 days too in April 42 but he came out with having passed a trade test in Carpentry and Joinery so it looks like other training went on there, other than water crossing borneo72 I think.
  9. borneo72

    borneo72 Junior Member

    Could well have been used for other trade training, but it was mainly used for bridging as it was located on the bank of the river. There were a few buildings across the road from the main camp.


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